To preface this post, I am not debating what is right or wrong. I truly, with 100% of my being, believe every person has something that works for them. Every woman out there has a worthwhile job and is important. We need working mothers. We need stay at home mothers. This is not to preach what I think YOU should be doing. This is simply to defend what I AM doing.
I went to a meeting the other night with a handful of other moms.
They were all super super sweet women that I am so glad I got to know. I was the only stay at home mom, though. The others all worked at least part time, but the majority were full time.
I left feeling like such an under-achieving bum. Nothing that the other moms did made me feel this way- they didn't say anything or even (unintentionally) imply anything.
But after listening to them talk about their careers and their billable hours and their employers, I left thinking, "I'm just a stay at home mom."
And it really upset me.
Why does our country feel the need to only accept women as important or successful if they are juggling a career and family? Why can't "just a stay at home mom" be looked at as successful?
Is it because I'm not making money? Not tapping into my brain power or skills I learned in college? Is it because I'm not "contributing to society?"
I just don't get it. Where it was once an honor to be a mother, I feel that a lot of times we are dubbed as people "who couldn't do anything else so she's just a mom now." Do you even want to know how many times I've heard that statement??? Honestly.
Do you want to know how many times someone has asked me what I do, and when I replied with, "I'm a stay at home mom" they looked at me with these "Oh you poor thing" eyes? Like it was a punishment and not a choice!
Folks, being a stay at home mom IS a profession!!!! It IS my job. Sure I don't go into the office, but believe me, I spend my day working!
Just like the daycare worker or the nanny that some pay or the teacher, I am a child's caregiver.
Some might say, "Yes, but I have a career, then come home to be a wife and mother." And yes, they are correct. But my job doesn't end at 5:00 either. I have my career all day long, too.
I don't get a paycheck, I don't answer to an employer (other than my 2.5 year old and 13 month old), and I don't report to an office, but I work my tail off all day long. I'm up at the crack of dawn (just like a "working" mother)- after being up all night, too!- working all day until the last one is down and toys are picked up and dishes are done and clothes are folded. I, too, struggle to find time to work out, go to the grocery store, and have enough energy left at the end of a day to be a good wife to my husband.
Girls, we ALL have the same struggles even if they look a little different in how they play out. We all long to do it all and make it all work.
Society is going to judge us for choosing to go back to work when our baby is six weeks old, and judge us if we choose to just stay at home with our kids. They will judge us if our kids go to daycare while we work, and judge us for putting them in Mother's Day Out while we stay at home. People will tell us how whatever we have chosen for ourselves and our families is the wrong choice.
Instead of judging each other, fellow moms, let's support each other. Let's validate the important roles that we ALL have.
Some of us are meant to stay home, some of us are meant to teach, some of us are meant to be your doctors, and others of us are meant to do your taxes.
Please realize that every single profession, including just staying at home, has an important and direct impact on all of us. Every job is worthy, and every choice is valid.
And in the end, we are all mothers. We all love our children. And we all will do whatever it takes to be the best dang moms we can be. And no one should question that.